The Denzel Conyers has dealt with a lot during his college football career.
Through it all, Conyers looks to stake his claim to a starting job in Maryland’s defensive backfield this fall.
Conyers’ story began in 2013 when he originally signed to play at Florida International. However, he never saw the field for the Golden Panthers due to academic issues.
After failing to qualify at Florida International, Conyers took his talents to Butte Community College (Calif.). Butte Community College has some very talented alumni in Larry Allen and Aaron Rodgers (2002 season).
In April 2014, Conyers committed to Maryland and thought all his troubles were behind him. However, during the summer, his uncle passed away due to cancer. Conyers’ uncle had been a father figure in his life.
Prior to the 2014 season, Randy Edsall had hoped to have Conyers eligible. However, Conyers learned that he didn’t do well enough academically while at Butte to be eligible immediately at Maryland.
In 2015, after facing a tremendous amount of adversity, Conyers finally was set to suit up for the Terrapins. Despite coming to College Park projected to be a defensive back, Conyers was inserted into Maryland’s linebacker rotation.
As a backup linebacker, Conyers only registered 12 tackles (seven solo), one sack, three defended passes, and a forced fumble.
Even from the limited playing time that Conyers had, it was evident that he has the potential to be a playmaker at the collegiate level.
First of all, Conyers has great size for a defensive back at 6’3/211 pounds. His size allows him to be physical and gain the upper hand against any wide receiver that he’s covering.
He’s also pretty quick for a bigger defensive back, which allows him to break on the football when it’s in the air. Conyers may not have had a single interception during the 2015 season, but that doesn’t mean the opportunities weren’t there.
For example, when Maryland faced Wisconsin last November, Badgers quarterback Joel Stave looked to one side of the field then fired to the other to Troy Fumagalli. The pass was behind Fumagalli, but that didn’t stop Conyers from jumping the route and nearly taking it in for a touchdown.
Conyers was watching Stave’s eyes the whole way and that’s the sign of a truly talented defensive back.
Earlier in the season against South Florida, Conyers made another sensational play in pass coverage.
Maryland held a 28-17 lead against South Florida early in the fourth quarter although it felt a lot closer than that. With 11:45 to go, Bulls quarterback Steven Bench dropped back to pass on 3rd-and-26 and fired it right into the teeth of the Terps defense.
Bench overthrew his intended wideout and Conyers made a leaping play on the ball to haul in the interception. However, the interception was taken away because defensive end Roman Braglio drilled Bench way after he got rid of the ball.
Despite the fact that the interception was wiped out, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that Conyers made a phenomenal play. Conyers was able to adjust and make a play on a badly thrown ball.
Conyers is likely going to start at one of Maryland’s two vacant safety spots in the fall. With A.J. Hendy and Anthony Nixon gone, Conyers could provide a physical presence and be a leader for the Terps.
Conyers will finally have his chance to prove himself as a senior. If he’s able to build off his pass coverage success from a season ago, Conyers could provide some stability to the defensive backfield and take some of the pressure off of cornerback Will Likely.